PNGDF confirms Manus confrontation

PNG Defence Force chief of staff has confirmed that a confrontation did occur between PNGDF Naval Base HMPNGS Tarangau members and asylum seekers.

In a statement, Colonel Ray Numa, says those involved in the incident on Manus on Friday will be brought to justice.

The fight erupted over the use of the naval base oval, he explains.

Col Numa says residents of the regional processing centre were supposed to vacate the oval by 6pm.

“It is alleged that when they were asked to do so to enable dependents of the base to play on the oval, some of them refused to leave.

“It is alleged that when the base duty officer pursued the matter further, he was assaulted by asylum seekers.”
This then led to an escalation of the confrontation, where rocks were allegedly thrown by the asylum seekers and shots fired by members of the naval base.

“The commanding officer of the HMPNGS Tarangau intervened and by 7.30pm, the situation was brought under control,” states Col Numa.

“Asylum seekers were secured in their camp, order restored and few people treated for minor injuries.

“An investigation is now underway to determine the cause of the incident,” says the PNGDF chief of staff.

The situation in HMPNGS Tarangau is currently quiet.

(Some of the residents of the Manus Regional Processing Centre - Picture: Green Left Weekly)

Press release